Bowman’s challenger gets first endorsement from House Democrat

Bowman’s challenger gets first endorsement from House Democrat

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) on Monday became the first sitting House Democrat to endorse Westchester County Executive George Latimer (D) in his bid to unseat Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) in the closely watched primary contest in the New York City suburb.

The endorsement from Gottheimer, a moderate who co-chairs the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, comes one day before Tuesday’s primary, which has largely focused on Bowman’s criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza.

“I’m proud to endorse @LatimerforNY. We need more commonsense leaders and problem solvers in Congress. I know George will fight hate in all forms, and stand up for the values we all believe in,” Gottheimer wrote on the social platform X on Monday.

The congressman joins a number of political heavyweights in throwing his support behind Latimer.

Two weeks ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who represented New York in the Senate, endorsed Latimer over Bowman.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), once seen as a progressive ally of Bowman’s, endorsed his primary challenger earlier this month. Bowman and Jones were elected in 2020 to represent New York’s 16th and 17th Congressional Districts, succeeding longtime Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), respectively. Engel and Lowey have also endorsed Latimer over Bowman.

Bowman has maintained the bulk of his support from his caucus, including from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.). Many of his fellow progressive members, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), have rallied for Bowman in the lead-up to the primary contest.

A poll conducted earlier this month from Emerson College Polling/PIX11/The Hill shows Bowman could still be underwater in his district. The poll had Latimer leading Bowman by 17 points, 48 percent support to 31 percent, with 21 percent of respondents still undecided.

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Bowman, compared to 43 percent who have an unfavorable view of him. In comparison, 65 percent said they have a favorable view of Latimer, while 23 percent had an unfavorable view.

The seat is reliably blue, so the winner of the Democratic primary on Tuesday will be the heavy favorite to win in November.

“We are proud of the ironclad coalition of supporters we have built and the endorsement from Rep. Josh Gottheimer is indicative of our grassroots efforts,” a spokesperson for Latimer’s campaign said in an emailed statement.

The campaign touted Latimer’s work on affordable housing, maternal health care for Black and brown mothers, and other progressive policy positions, adding, “George has been in the forefront of improving the quality of life of residents, and he will bring a new era of competence to Washington to get even more done for The Bronx and Westchester.”

The Hill has reached out to Bowman’s campaign for comment.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. EDT

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